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Volume 3 Issue 2---Attention: The Geek2Geek newsletter is a quarterly publication for the Geeks by the Geeks. Please submit articles and pictures for publication to Diana Kokoska---February 2010

UCB Graduation Honors
Computer Information Systems Makes a Clean Sweep

picture of Bryon Sibley receiving award

picture of James Morrill receiving award

For the first time in UCB history, two CIS students were selected as the UCB Students of the Year. James Morrill (left) and Bryon Sibley (right) received the Outstanding Associate Degree Student and Outstanding Bachelor Degree Student respectively for the CIS program and then were voted unanimously as the UCB Students of the Year.

At the UCB honors banquet on Thursday, May 6, UCB Campus Dean, Gillian Jordan, presented the awards and introduced several community leaders who were on hand to celebrate the accomplishments of these graduates.

James Morrill was represented by two members of the Bangor Police Department, his immediate supervisor, Sergeant John Roach, and Lieutenant Mark Hathaway. According to them, "Jim is a truly fantastic employee. He is positive, creative, energetic and tireless, but most importantly Jim is simply a terrific person. Jim's current position as a 911 emergency dispatcher is demanding, stressful and often times thankless - he does it with absolute precision and a smile - he is a true professional. We hope Jim stays with us for twenty more years, but if he chooses not to it is clear to all of us who work with him that he will succeed in whatever he does in the future."

Mr. Simons, Director of the Career Center of the Penobscot Job Corp, was also present to congratulate a former graduate of the Job Corp, who later became a staff member.

Bryon Sibley was joined by his supervisor Lauren Dubois, Director of Computer Services in Augusta. According to Lauren, "Bryon is the perfect fit for the Bangor campus." His communication, follow-through and contribution to organizational improvement are exceptional. He goes above and beyond to make sure that everyone is served." No one is prouder of Bryon's accomplishments in the field than Lauren.

Both students boast an impressive resume -- the following award speeches by CIS Instructor, Diana Kokoska, detail the academic and professional accomplishments of these awardees:

Outstanding Associate Degree Graduate
Award Speech by CIS Instructor, Diana Kokoska

The recipient of the Outstanding Associate Degree graduate in CIS, James Morrill, came to UCB from the Penobscot Job Corps in 2000 where he studied accounting, Web design, and Microsoft Office User Specialist and interned with the Bangor Career Center. He later worked as a residential supervisor at the Penobscot Job Corp and credits them with "forcing" him to attend college.

James "Big Jim" as we called him attended UCB full time for three semesters and then due to a personal battle with ALGEBRA II and DISCRETE MATH, he switched to part time.

He was hired by the City of Bangor as an Emergency Dispatcher shortly after leaving the Penobscot Job Corps. This job involves receiving, recording and dispatching both emergency and non-emergency calls for assistance. He is intrigued by the computer interface with several databases at local, state, and federal levels, which requires attention to data integrity and extensive training to understand its functions and capabilities. He is currently the training officer for new dispatchers, fire fighters, and police officers within the city of Bangor in concerns of our public safety and software programs. He also serves as the accountability officer between the City of Bangor to State of Maine and FBI for Law Enforcement Only information and has had the unique opportunity to be a guest instructor for the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and Husson University for Public Safety Communications.

As if this were not enough to keep him busy, he holds a secondary job as a reserve patrolman for the town of Bucksport. He has been married for about a year and a half to his long-time girlfriend, Mary.

When I was talking with Jim a few weeks ago, he told me that he started at UCB in 2000 as one of my first students and he expects to be one of my last. I quickly responded "Do you know something that I don't know?", but then he quickly explained, "at the current rate, I will earn my bachelor's degree in about 10 years. You should be ready to retire by then."

Jim has already taken classes toward his Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Systems degree. Over the summer, I hope that you will review these Math flash cards so you will be prepared for MAT281 Discrete Math Structures II.

Outstanding Bachelor Degree Graduate
Award Speech by CIS Instructor, Diana Kokoska

The recipient of the Outstanding Bachelor Degree Graduate in CIS, Bryon (B-R-Y-O-N) - yes finally learned to spell it -- Sibley, is no stranger to any of the faculty, staff, or students at UCB. In his position as Senior Network Specialist, Bryon is the "go to" person for any technology assistance.

It is no surprise that his prowess in information technology would translate into an impressive GPA. Not only is he proficient in the networking side of IT, but he recently completed an applied project in PHP programming that will be used by the CIS faculty.

When Byron (I mean Bryon) first transferred to the Bangor IT Department from Augusta, he occupied the office next door to mine in the College Center. I soon learned that one of his best qualities is his sense of humor. When I came back from teaching in Augusta one Wednesday, (April 1 to be exact), Bryon had taped my door with crime scene tape and posted a warning "Crime Scene - Do Not Enter". And we all know you have to have a sense of humor to work at UCB.

Personally, I do have a suggestion for the Augusta IT Department: Please take Caller ID off Bryon's phone. A few weeks ago, I called him to ask if he wanted to take a walk. Although I knew he was in his office, he did not pick up his phone. I left a message telling him that I was leaving without him. When I returned to my office, I have a voice mail, "Hah, hah, hah, This is Bryon! hah, hah, hah, I got your message and hah, hah, hah, I tried to catch up with you, but I hah, hah, hah couldn't."

Bryon, like many non-traditional students who work full time, take classes, and have family obligations, spends any "spare" time involved in family-oriented activities such as coaching his son's farm league team, teaching a group of 4-H members how to program robots, and designing the audio/visual technology for his church.

Bryon should be very proud to be selected as UCB's Outstanding Bachelor Degree Graduate in CIS, but even prouder to be selected as UMA's Outstanding Graduate in CIS. The last time that a UCB student received this honor was in 2000.

Bryon, it was hard to find something that you could actually use, but I figured that this wireless indoor thermometer with a rain gauge might come in useful. When I call and it is raining or below freezing, you will know that it is okay to answer your phone as I won't be asking you walk!

Distinguished Undergraduate CIS Student
Award Speech by CIS Instructor, Diana Kokoska

The CIS Department is proud to recognize an undergraduate in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems program. Seumas Lowell, would you please join me on the stage.

Seumas is one of the growing numbers of students who did not receive his early education in a formal school setting, but rather was instructed in a home learning environment. At 16, during the equivalent of his junior year in high school, he started (funded through the Aspire program) taking one class each semester at UCB.

He has excelled in his CIS classes, where he attends school full time and works with a landscaping/masonry business. He is not the first in his family to attend UCB; his younger sister is currently in pre-nursing at Augusta ; his older sister attended UCB and graduated with honors in the business program at Orono; and his mother is attending UCB as well.

In addition to his academics, Seumas has a number of outside interests including dancing, music, and sabre fencing. Fencing is one of the four sports which have been featured at every modern Olympic games. I understand that Seumas is also writing a book in the fantasy genre.

He is well on his way to earning his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems and if his current, impressive GPA is any indication of his affinity with all things IT, we can look ahead to an honors graduate in a couple of years. Congratulations!!!

CIS awardees

From left to right: Bryon Sibley, James Morrill, Seumas Lowell

picture of monkey

CIS Annual Picnic/BBQ

The annual CIS Picnic/BBQ held in Augusta on Wednesday, May 5, at the Richard Randall Student Technology Center busts the myth that geeks are social misfits. According to the Urban "a computer geek is a person who spends WAAAAYYYY too much time on the computer, as in upwards of 2 hours a day (not counting AIM or iTunes). These people usually have what can be described as an xbox tan. They also have few friends, many of which are likely computer geeks themselves." Granted I did hear a lot "geek code" but it certainly looks like most of these CIS students were carrying on a somewhat normal conversation.

This annual Picnic/BBQ is usually held during finals week to network and to celebrate the successful end to another academic year. Bill and Mercy Taylor "volunteered" (well, maybe that is not exactly the right word) to man the grill. Sorry to be the one to tell you, Bill, "you would have gotten an "A" anyway!

Enjoy the slideshow below. You will see many familiar faces, including retired Professor Peter Dionne, enjoying the delicious cuisine provided by students in the CIS program.


Lego Competition

On Saturday, May 1, 2010, a team from the Winthrop Middle School competed in their first ever Lego Track Meet. The event was sponsored by Maine Robotics ( and consisted of teams from throughout southern Maine. The event was held at the Auburn Middle School.

The team worked on their robots and bridge for several months. Each robot went through several modifications, and each change was tested to find the optimal design. The students also programmed each of the robots themselves, using the Lego RoboLab software included with the kits. Each program was tested and debugged to ensure that the robot would operate properly on the day of the competition. Although each member was primarily working on a particular robot, the team supported each other as needed, whether it was programming, construction, or testing.

The Winthrop team started with only one small Lego Mindstorms kit and limited resources for getting more parts. With the generous help of the UMA CIS Department and their loan of two large Lego Mindstorms kits, the Winthrop team was able to build four robots and a bridge for the competition. Each robot had to accomplish a specific, but different, task.

The delivery mission robot needed to navigate a simple maze and deposit a package at the center of a series of concentric target rings. The slope climbing robot needed to climb as steep a slope as possible, starting at 30 degrees and continuing to a maximum of 85 degrees. The strongest robot had to pull a weighted cart, to a maximum of 60 pounds. The bridge had to support a weight load of up to 80 pounds. The ping-pong shot put robot had to launch ping-pong balls into a tiered target 1 meter away and earn the most points (1 point per ball in the outer tier, 3 points per ball in the inner tier).

The team was hugely successful in their efforts, also. Four of the robots met the "gold standard" benchmark in their respective events. The bridge earned a second-place trophy for being the second-lightest bridge to support the full 80 pounds. The ping-pong shot put robot earned a first-place trophy, with a top-scoring round of 88 points in 30 seconds.


Back Row, l-r: Coach/Teacher Deane Buuck, Brady Farnham Second Row, l-r: Joe Fay, Matt Sekerak, Coach Will Frost, Bryson Camp Front Row, l-r: Dakota Carter, Teresa Easterbrooks, Adam Hachey, Ben Whitestone Not shown: Kelsie Kalka, Coach Robert Easterbrooks

delivery mission robot entry

Delivery Mission Robot Entry (Gold Standard)

slope climbing robot entry

Slope Climbing Robot Entry (Gold Standard)

strongest robot entry

Strongest Robot Entry

bridge entry

Slope Climbing Robot Entry (Gold Standard)

bridge entry

Ping-Pong Shot Put Robot Entry (1st Place)

Congratulations, Winthrop Middle School! We look to you to compete in UMA's first Lego competition in a few years!

This is the second group (a 4-H group) who borrowed the Lego Mindstorm from the University to teach robotics and programming of the Mindstorm to middle-school age students. The previous group, coached by Tanya Sibley, participated in the First Lego League Competition at the Augusta Civic Center on December 12, 2009. This team scored in the top 50% at the competition.

CIS 131 Web Design and Development Online
(Sample Projects Spring 2010)

The spring 2010 online offering of CIS131 Web Applications and Development unleashed a group of entrepreneurial Web designers who combined xhtml coding, css, design principles, and content to create professional quality Web sites.

It's Wickedlicious website Sunny Creations
Hear My Voice Got Buttah?
D&G Appliance Repair
Superior Docks The Two of Us
Johanne's Piano Studio

The Florida Keys and Key West


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Telephone: 207-262-7864
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Telephone: 207-262-7862